Ecclestone in talks with Donington Park
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, June 20th 2008, 08:15 GMT|
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has upped the pressure on Silverstone to come up with a deal to secure the future of British Grand Prix, by revealing he is also in talks with Donington Park about moving the race there.
Ecclestone and Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, are in deadlock in discussions about a deal that will keep the race at the Northamptonshire track from 2010.
But with little movement on that front, Ecclestone revealed to The Times this morning that he was looking at alternative possibilities - and even claimed he would prefer it if Donington Park could put a deal together.
"We are discussing the possibility of reaching an agreement with Donington to host the British Grand Prix," Ecclestone was quoted as saying.
"We are trying to save the British Grand Prix and we want it to be staged at a venue which befits an event of its stature. I've been in negotiations for a long time and whether or not we're going to do a deal with Donington or Silverstone, I don't know.
"Donington have said they are going to build everything we want. Have they got the money? Only time will tell. But I think there is more chance of Donington having the money than the BRDC."
Although the amount of work Donington Park would need to be F1 ready makes a deal with them unlikely, the track's owners claim they are looking at it.
Lee Gill, joint chief executive of the company, said: "Formula One is not a walk in the park. It has implications in planning consent and the infrastructure and commercial terms of an F1 deal need careful consideration. We are looking at what the implications are if we took it on."
Donington Park boss Simon Gillett told this week's Motorsport News that F1 design guru Hermann Tilke had been contacted to draw up a revised layout for the track.
"Any track that is trying to get a Formula One Grand Prix knows it would take significant investment," said Gillettt.
"We'd have to have a look at how the regulations have changed over the course of the years to see what we would need to do to the circuit to bring it up to the standards required for Formula One in the modern age."